Crime & Courts

N.C. Highway Patrol trooper injured during chase is paralyzed, commander says

The N.C. State Highway Patrol trooper injured in Charlotte last week is paralyzed from the neck down, patrol commander Glenn McNeill Jr. announced on Facebook.

Trooper Christopher Wooten was hurt while riding his motorcycle on duty the morning of July 22, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said. He was chasing a car through the intersection of Tuckaseegee Road and Queen City Drive when another car hit him, police said.

The driver involved in the crash cooperated with police, and the driver of the car he was chasing — Dontay Kilgo, 36 — was arrested Wednesday. Kilgo has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, felony flee to elude and reckless driving, among other offenses.

Highway Patrol troopers used Wooten’s handcuffs to arrest Kilgo, McNeill wrote in a Facebook post Thursday.

Wooten, a 14-year veteran of the Highway Patrol, has had several medical procedures in the days since the crash, McNeill wrote in a Facebook post Friday. Doctors operated on his spine and determined that he has a complete spinal cord injury at the top of the spine, which is causing the paralysis, McNeill wrote.

In the weeks to come, Wooten will begin rehab and get ready to go home to his wife and two daughters, McNeill wrote.

A fundraiser for the family is available through the N.C. State Employees Credit Union, McNeill wrote. Anyone can visit an NCSECU branch and donate to the Christopher and Sharon Wooten Special Account, according to McNeill.

Jane Wester is a Charlotte native and has been covering criminal justice and public safety for The Charlotte Observer since May 2017.